What a journey it's been! But like all journeys, it must come to an end. We conclude our trip in the beautiful city of Prague.
Yesterday morning, we saw the quirky yet fascinating National Museum of Czechia, which had fledgling exhibits on the Celtic peoples and on natural history. After leaving the museum, we headed down the famous Wenceslas Square, where the Velvet Revolution took place and saw the memorial of Jan Palach, who burned himself alive to resist Communism in the 1960s. We had lunch near the Old Town Square, the center of shopping and cultural life in the city, and then we visited the Mucha Museum, where we viewed the timeless artwork of the well-known Czech artist, Alphonse Mucha. We had some free time for shopping and exploring, and some of us opted to see more art at the National Gallery of Czechia. The National Gallery, like the National Museum, was a work in progress, but it was still a once-in-a-lifetime experience: housing unique pieces of medieval art and locating itself within an ancient monastery. After dinner, all of our students spent some time exploring Old Town Square and getting a feel for the life in Prague.
On our final morning, this morning, we headed to see the Museum of Communism, which told the history of Czechoslovakia and then the Czech Republic as it fell both under Nazi domination in World War II and then under Communist domination following the war. The Museum detailed the resistance to the Communist regime, its daily life, and its propaganda and coercive tactics. Following that final splash of history, we took the incline up Petrin hill and got an amazing view of all of Prague and the surrounding countryside from the top of Petrin Tower. After a delicious lunch at Cafe Savoy, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our final dinner. We had our dinner at the very upscale and renowned Hergetova Cihelna restaurant, right on the Vitava river and overlooking the famous Charles Bridge. We had our most lavish meal yet, and closed the trip the right way.
I think we've all come a long way since we first began. Students formed strong friendships that will definitely last far beyond the end of the trip, and also learned a great deal (perhaps not in as formal a format as we had originally hoped!) about European culture and history. We depart for Prague airport tomorrow morning after an incredible trip! See everyone in the States!